Importance of tourism arises from the numerous benefits and advantages it brings to any host country
The case studies on women participating in the tourism industry illustrate that, in the right conditions, tourism is an avenue for financial inclusion and social empowerment. Although the ways women work in tourism varies by region and culture, examples of empowerment through tourism have some central characteristics.
1. Transferring skills:
The women participating in the tourism industry is an entry point to the formal economy by allowing women to apply skills they have developed through unpaid care work or practicing cultural traditions. These transferrable skills include cooking, craft-making, and home management.
2. Developing new skills:
Tourism provides opportunities for women participating in the tourism industry to develop new technological, business, and vocational skills. The tourist-driven market for local pottery in Botswana allowed women with little formal education to receive on-the-job vocational training in pottery-making and sales, which they said increased their financial independence, confidence, and propensity for entrepreneurship.
The sharing economy has also increased the inclusion of women in the tourism industry, especially in roles where women have traditionally been absent, such as hosts, managers, and drivers. The largest example of the sharing economy at work in the tourism industry, Airbnb, provides a relevant case study. Fifty-five percent of Airbnb’s hosts are women, and they have earned US$10 billion.
Sharing-economy giants like Airbnb and Uber are engaging with communities by training women in certain skills while helping them adapt to technologies like Facebook, WhatsApp, and e-mail. These skills will not only allow women to earn income, but also expand their economic horizon and opportunities in other spheres.
3. Forming partnerships:
Partnerships between the public or private sector and communities can strengthen markets while facilitating women participating in the tourism industry and empowerment. Airbnb, for example, partnered with the Self-Employed Women’s Association in India to train women in hosting international travellers.
In Malaysia, indigenous women in tourism have benefited from the Orang Asli Development Agency’s creation of centralized handicraft centres within villages and the Forest Research Institute Malaysia’s work to measure the effectiveness and spread awareness of local herbal medicine.
4. Better financial results:
Some senior leadership positions in the travel industry are still male-dominated, despite research showing that companies with mixed leadership tend to have better financial results.
A quick search on the internet, one will find evidence on the direct relationship between diversity and company performance. In report, “Why Diversity Matters,” analysis of the data collected from 366 companies disclosed a statistically significant connection between diversity and financial performance, with organizations in the top quartile for gender diversity 15% more likely to have financial returns above their national industry median.
5. Fresh perspective:
Women participating in the tourism industry bring a different perspective to management, leadership and business. Innovation stems from a shared understanding of goals and roles mixed with diverse experiences and perspectives. Diversity brings that variety of perspectives.
Female leaders can drive innovation by being a model of discussion management so that all voices are heard – introvert, extrovert, male, female, all races, remote and in-office – and perspectives are challenged.
A female in this role, bring a fresh perspective and understanding, not just for our customers and partners, but also our employees. The management position in tourism, the struggles that women face, including mothers. Report that, what’s important in the role, is that help ensure that all our employees have equal career opportunities and that we create an environment where everyone feels properly supported, represented and valued.
6. Inclusive culture
Leadership is not about masculine or feminine traits but about creating a unique authentic leadership style. Women need to embrace inclusive leadership taking pride with their strength and emotionally intelligent niche.
It is also important to break down stereotypes or segmenting women to do ‘girls’ jobs. The travel tech sector is one of those niches that are still male-dominated and posed opportunities to break down barriers.
There’s a business case behind it as well, as a diverse workforce, coupled with an inclusive culture, has proven to drive innovation and better business results. At Amadeus, different genders, ethnicities, religions, age groups, sexual orientations, disabilities, personality types, thinking styles, and life experiences. It found that in doing so, we foster an environment for sharing of ideas, debates and outlooks that help us to generate new directions in business development.